The usual Leftist projection. It tells us more about the Left than it does about the Right. They imagine that conservatives are like them
(Norman Milton Lear (born July 27, 1922) is an American television writer and producer who produced such 1970s sitcoms as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude. As a political activist, he founded the civil liberties advocacy organization People For the American Way in 1981 -- Wikipedia.
The quote below is an excerpt from what Lear said a few weeks ago at the 30th anniversary of PFAW)
They're coming for your children! They're coming for the womenfolk! Then they're coming after you! Norman Lear, the famous television show producer, offered this hysterically paranoid assessment of the allegedly growing and presumably insidious power of "the right":
"I want to suggest that we lefties start laying claim to what we see as 'sacred' and serve it up proudly to the religious right -- to the James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove ... hatemongers, sheathed in sanctity, and to the Koch brothers, the types that fund them and use them so effectively for their own political power-grabbing purposes. Over the past several decades, the power-grabbing right has built a powerful infrastructure -- radio and TV stations and networks. They've built think tanks, colleges and law schools."
How accurate is Lear's assessment of the supposed power and influence of the right? Is the right steadily forming a formidable alliance of academics, media outlets, websites, etc., that serve as a fourth column for the "right wing"? Even if this were true, what about the power of the left?
Let's look at the mainscream media. In "Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind," UCLA economist and political science professor Dr. Tim Groseclose uses three different methods to determine the SQ -- or slant quotient -- of the major media outlets. Of the 20 most prominent news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, "Good Morning America" and Time magazine, he found only two that leaned to the right: The Washington Times and Fox News.
True, the network evening news shows no longer hold the market share of years past, but nearly 25 million Americans still turn to Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Scott Pelley each night. That means eight times as many viewers watch ABC/NBC/CBS as watch "The O'Reilly Factor," the top-rated cable news/talk program.
When people like Lear speak of the growing power of the right-wing cabal, they believe Fox leads the charge. And Bill O'Reilly is clearly the face of the Fox News network. But as hated as O'Reilly is by the left, how legitimate is their description of O'Reilly as a right-wing ideologue?
O'Reilly is not even a Republican. He is registered as an independent and opposes the death penalty. He supported -- at least initially -- the Senate's so-called "amnesty bill." His opposition to ObamaCare is based on cost rather than the Constitution. He believes that in "a system where everybody is guaranteed the same health care ... whether you have a lot of money or no money, you're gonna get the same health care. Now, in theory, that sounds good ... but in practice, we got a $14 trillion debt that we can't pay off, and this is gonna add to it, big-time." He wondered how a man can raise a family of four on minimum wage. In a recent interview with former President Bill Clinton, O'Reilly said, "I think I am paying my fair share (of taxes). Now, I didn't mind paying what you had me at. I didn't mind paying you that." Somewhere, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is having heartburn.
Now let's look at academia. Given the dominance of left-wingers in academia, that Lear can even say this with a straight face is astonishing. Let's look at who is teaching our college-level students. The American Enterprise Institute's magazine examined the political registrations of professors at 20 colleges and universities, representing a cross section of higher education -- public and private, big and small, in the North, South, East and West. The study divided the registrations into those belonging to a "party of the left" -- Democrats, Greens or some other liberal political party -- or a "party of the right" -- either Republican or Libertarian. Overwhelmingly, by a more than 13-1 margin, the profs were registered with a party of the left. Many departments had no professors from a right-wing party.
Let's look at Hollywood. Ben Shapiro, a recent Harvard Law School grad, wrote a book called "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV." He interviewed, on the record, over 100 industry bigwigs, including David Shore ("House"), Fred Silverman (former CBS programming vice president, ABC Entertainment president, and NBC president and CEO), Marta Kauffman ("Friends"), Larry Gelbart ("M-A-S-H") and Mark Burnett ("Survivor"). When asked whether there is a prevailing pro-left ideology, if not a left-wing agenda, several major players admitted that of course Hollywood leans left. Others bluntly bragged about their bias against conservatives and the extent of the left-wing messages inserted into their comedies and dramas.
Given the left's dominance in the major media, academia and Hollywood, it is beyond insulting to hear influential Hollywood lefties like Mr. Lear whine about the supposed power of the right. Makes them sound like a, well, "Meathead."
Democrats Are Terrified of Voter ID
The most consequential election in our lifetime is still 11 months away, but it's clear from the Obama administration's order halting South Carolina's new photo ID law that the Democrats have already brought a gun to the knife fight.
How else to describe this naked assault on the right of a state to create minimal requirements to curb voter fraud?
On Dec. 23, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez sent a letter ordering South Carolina to stop enforcing its photo ID law. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights division that booted charges against the New Black Panther Party for intimidating voters in Philadelphia in 2008, alleged that South Carolina's law would disenfranchise thousands of minority voters.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson rejected Perez's math and explained on Fox News why the law is necessary. The state Department of Motor Vehicles audited a state Election Commission report that said 239,333 people were registered to vote but had no photo ID. The DMV found that 37,000 were deceased, more than 90,000 had moved to other states, and others had names not matched to IDs. That left only 27,000 people registered without a photo ID but who could vote by signing an affidavit as to their identity.
Wilson told me by phone on Thursday that he would file a challenge to the order in federal district court in January. Asked whether he felt South Carolina was being singled out, he declined to speculate on motives. However, citing the National Labor Relations Board's orders to invalidate the voter-approved union card check amendment and to stop a new Boeing plant, and the Justice Department's suit to halt the immigration law, he said, "there certainly is a pattern of the federal government overreaching into South Carolina."
Leading Democrats loudly equate recently enacted photo ID legislation as updated versions of Jim Crow laws that once robbed people of their constitutional right to vote simply because of their race. But photo ID laws and other voter integrity measures cover everyone. Like other states, South Carolina provides photo IDs if a person cannot afford one....
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's 2005 photo ID law, which the Democratic Party and several interest groups had challenged as a "severe burden." But, as American Civil Rights Union attorney Peter Ferrara noted in the ACRU's friend of the court brief:
"No one has been denied the right to vote by the Indiana Voter ID Law. The record clearly establishes without challenge that 99% of the Voting Age Population in Indiana already has the required ID, in the form of driver's licenses, passports, or other identification. Of the remaining 1%, senior citizens and the disabled are automatically eligible to vote by absentee ballot, and such absentee voting is exempt from the Voter ID Law."
Does that sound "severe" to you? As Ferrara notes, "the slight burden of additional paperwork for a fraction of 1%, to show who they are and thereby prove their eligibility to vote, cannot come close to outweighing the interests of all legitimate legal voters in maintaining their effective vote."
The Obama Administration is playing the same race card that Democrats have played for decades. But this is not about race; it's about whether legitimately cast votes will be wiped out by illegally cast votes.
Since the GOP took a majority of governorships and legislatures in 2010 and continued enacting voting safeguards, you can feel the panic in Democratic strongholds. The stakes are enormous, and the Obama Administration is quite aware of the danger posed by an aroused electorate on a level playing field.
With the economy in a ditch, their only hope of stemming the conservative tide might be to rig the returns, especially where political machines still prevail.
The Regulatory Pendulum Has Swung Too Far
The political dispute is not whether to regulate, but how much.
We need some regulation. Even the most bombastic conservatives recognize this. So everyone also should recognize that when President Obama says the GOP favors "dirtier air [and] dirtier water," he is committing the fallacy of the false alternative. The political dispute is not whether to regulate, but how much.
Everyone also can agree that if an environmental rule can prevent 1 million birth defects at a cost of only one dollar, then the regulation merits adoption - and if a regulation would prevent only one birth defect at a cost of $100 trillion, then it does not. In the real world regulations fall within narrower parameters. And nobody knows for certain precisely how much misery a proposed regulation might prevent, or how much it might cost. Hence the bickering.
Take the EPA's new rules on power-plant emissions. Emission controls are desirable as a general rule, since emissions are what economists call negative externalities: costs of production that are shifted to non-producers, usually without their consent. (Not all externalities are created equal. The aroma of a neighbor's grill is not nearly as annoying as the whine from his leafblower.)
The EPA says its new rules will cost about $10.6 billion by 2016 - but will save anywhere from $59 billion to $140 billion in health costs, forestall up to 17,000 premature deaths, and prevent up to 130,000 cases of childhood asthma per year. A big net win.
But Susan Dudley, who runs the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, says the new rules will cost almost $11 billion per year. Industry sources estimate the real cost could be more than 10 times that much. And the Manhattan Institute's Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes that the EPA's estimates about asthma benefits seem, well, rather optimistic. In recent decades asthma has become more common even while air quality has improved. The Centers for Disease Control says "the causes of asthma remain unclear." If the CDC is right, then the EPA is just guessing.
Naturally, liberals glom onto the EPA's rosy figures while conservatives seize on the gloomier numbers from skeptics. People tend to reach conclusions first, then seek out supporting evidence and dismiss evidence to the contrary.
Whatever the merits of the new power-plant rules, though, it's clear that the Current Occupant, as they used to call George W., has commenced an era of great new regulatory zeal:
* The Obama administration is finalizing an average of 84 "economically significant" rules (those costing $100 million or more) per year, compared to 62 for Bush and 56 for Bill Clinton.
* In May the EPA tailored new rules for greenhouse-gas emissions that, absent the tailoring, would have affected 6 million factories, landfills, and other sources - and required the EPA, by its own estimates, to increase its workforce from 17,000 employees to 230,000. The New York Times calls such tailoring "contentious."
* The Department of Labor is considering whether to require disabled individuals to make up at least 7 percent of the workforce of every federal contractor - not only in the aggregate, but within "each job group." According to one summary, contractors would be required to collect and report data on "referrals from applicable employment service delivery systems . . . the `applicant ratio' of known applicants with disabilities to total applicants . . . the `hiring ratio,' . . . the `job fill ratio' . . . . training programs and promotional opportunities for which applicants and employees with a disability were considered . . . a statement of the reason as well as a description of any accommodation considered when it rejects an individual with disability for employment, promotion, or training. . . . a record describing any accommodation that makes possible the selection of an individual with a disability for hire, promotion, or training," etc.
Compliance cost for all of this? God only knows. Yet rules such as those pale in comparison to the gargantuan compliance burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley and (soon) Obamacare.
* Last summer the FDA carried out an armed raid on Amish farmers in Pennsylvania who were selling raw milk to eager customers.
* The Consumer Product Safety Commission may soon require expensive new flesh-sensing technology on all table saws. (This is being pushed by SawStop, the maker of the technology, which stands to benefit handsomely.)
* Last year the CPSC recalled a half-million drop-side cribs because of "31 . . . incidents. In six of those incidents children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. Three children suffered from bruises as a result of the entrapment."
You could argue that when regulators recall a half-million cribs because of three bruises - instead of, say, sending crib owners a letter about potential bruising hazards - the pendulum has swung too far. If you do, however, be prepared: You may be accused of wanting more dead babies by those who delight in the fallacy of the false alternative.
Kodak dead? "Eastman Kodak is preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in case it is unable to sell its digital patents to raise capital, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The once-iconic photographic film pioneer is in talks with potential lenders to secure about $1 billion in debtor-in possession financing to sustain Kodak through bankruptcy proceedings, the Journal reported, citing unidentified sources. The Chapter 11 filing could come as soon as this month or early February, the newspaper said. Kodak shares fell about 28% to 47 cents on the New York Stock Exchange following the online report, which dampened investors' hopes that the company could arrange a quick sale of its patents or a financing lifeline to keep it afloat."
EU agrees to Iranian oil embargo: "European governments have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian oil, EU diplomats said yesterday, dealing a blow to Tehran months before an Iranian election. The prospective embargo by the European Union, along with tough U.S. financial measures signed into law by President Barack Obama on New Year's Eve, form a concerted Western campaign to hold back Iran's nuclear program."
Israel, US to stage major military drill: "The Israeli military is gearing up together with U.S. forces for a major missile defense exercise, the Israeli military announced Thursday, as tension between Iran and the international community escalates. The drill is called 'Austere Challenge 12' and is designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces. It follows a 10-day Iranian naval exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz."
Obama's tyrannical abuse of power: "Standing behind a podium on a stage just outside Cleveland, President Barack Obama delivered a speech yesterday that will reverberate throughout history. ... [I]t was at that moment on a Wednesday afternoon in Ohio that the President announced his plans to act in total and utter disregard of the U.S. Constitution with his illegal appointment of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It's an astonishingly reckless exercise of executive authority."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)